Indiana Tank Owners: Highlights of Senate Enrolled Act 255

Monday, May 9, 2016

By: Mike O’Connell, P.G.

Attention Indiana Tank Owners

Highlights of Senate Enrolled Act 255

Indiana Senate Bill 255, which was passed last month, will go into effect July 1, 2016. The rule revisions will directly affect Indiana UST owners/operators (O/O) and their ability to receive funding for cleanup through the state’s petroleum Excess Liability Trust Fund (ELTF). Some of the changes within the bill that should make fund eligibility more attainable include:

Increase in the fund’s cap for payment toward an eligible release to $2,500,000

Previously, eligibility was largely determined by tank fee payments (prior to discovery of a release), reporting timeliness, and the concept of “substantial compliance,” which meant demonstrating that a system was largely in compliance with UST regulations at the time of the release. These conditions resulted in many instances of partial eligibility, which may be a thing of the past for new releases.

Eligible releases will now be based solely on:

1) Timeliness of release reporting,

2) Tank registration,

3) Source of the release [must be from a tank or dispenser component (before the nozzle/hose)], and

4) Submission of an initial site characterization report to the IDEM.

Time will tell the true impact on the fund and regulated community, but the initial impression is that a higher percentage of new releases may be eligible for ELTF funding.